UN, EU Seeks Status Higher than African Union, Arrogance Charged, Ban
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 12 -- On the eve of the UN's and China's meeting
with regional organizations, a power play by the European Union drew
fire from the EU's African counterpart. Inner City Press has been
informed by multiple sources that the reconfigured EU is seeking
special status at the UN, equal to the Vatican and Palestinian
Authority, higher than the African Union. But why?
Holy See is not only an Observer at the UN General Assembly -- it can
also participate in debates, and even co-sponsor resolutions that
touch on its areas of expertise. It won this right by a GA
resolution, adopted by acclamation and not a vote. (The GA President
at the time didn't want to "put the Pope to a vote," as he
does not have this Papal status. But now comes the EU, wanting to
leapfrog the AU and gain the right to participate and sponsor
UN's Ban and Migiro and AU's Jean Ping, EU power
play not shown
source in the
Executive Office of the Secretary General told Inner City Press this
is "very sensitive." The EOSG, he said, has drafted a
document on the EU's power play, merely "taking note" of
it, the same non-committal stance that was the only consensus reached
in Denmark on the Copenhagen Accord on climate change.
July 13, the
Security Council under its Chinese presidency will hold a meeting
with regional organizations. Under the surface, the EU's diss of the
AU and all the issues that brings up with fester. Watch this site.
* * *
UN, Ban Says Holbrooke's Public Blog Talk of de Mistura Is Not Proper,
But Unlike Galbraith, Jurisdiction Questioned
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 12 -- Two weeks ago, Inner City Press reported that
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would name as his envoy to
de Mistura, who hired Mr. Ban's son in law in
Iraq. A week ago, Inner City Press asked Mr. Ban about it. Ban
replied that the choice is his "prerogative."
Holbrooke told Foreign Policy's The Cable that de
Mistura told him he has been offered the post.
the cat entirely
out of the bag, Inner City Press on January 11 asked Mr. Ban, in his
first stakeout interview in the UN's new North Lawn Conference
Building, "Richard Holbrooke is
being quoted as saying that you
have offered the top UN post in Kabul to Staffan de Mistura. I
wonder, is he right in saying that?" Video here,
from Minute 15:18.
premise of the
question was, while Ban's talking points last week involved
questioning why the New York Times would chime on on his prerogative,
it would be more difficult to say Holbrooke was wrong.
was almost identical, that "I don't think it is proper to
discuss detailed matters on appointment procedures publicly."
But it seems clear that Ban has offered the job to de Mistura, who in
turn told Holbrooke -- to nail the job down, some say -- and
Holbrooke intentionally went public.
Ban says this
is not "proper," does he mean that de Mistura should not
have told Holbrooke that he's been offered the job? Since, as Inner
City Press exclusively reported,
Ban's choice as Darfur envoy of
Ibrahim Gambari leaked because Gambari asked some UN staff to sign up
to work for him in El Fasher, Ban could have told de Mistura to
it under raps.
comments seem to point, is Ban calling Holbrooke's public statement
to The Cable improper? Previously, Ban fired Peter Galbraith, whom
Holbrooke has pushed for the UN's deputy post in Kabul, for going
public with his critic of Kai Eide covering up Hamid Karzai electoral
can and does
crack down on UN staff for speaking publicly or blowing the whistle.
One wonders if Ban's implicit rebuke of Holbrooke leaves any mark at
all. Ultimately, it traces back to de Mistura. But he has ingratiated
himself with Ban's Turtle Bay. Between now and the conference on
Afghanistan in London on January 28, what could go wrong? Watch this
Holbrooke lets it all hang out, Ban's critique not shown
January 11 transcript:
City Press: On Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke is being quoted as
saying that you have offered the top UN post in Kabul to Staffan de
Mistura. I wonder, is he right in saying that?
First of all, this appointment of a new Special Representative of the
Secretary-General is still under consideration. Of course, I don't
think it is proper to discuss detailed matters on appointment
procedures publicly, but as soon as the decision is made I will let
you know. I have been discussing this matter with President [Hamid]
Karzai and other concerned major parties who could be the best
candidate who can really work together with all major parties to have
a very harmonious and coordinated role as SRSG of the United Nations.
just as Hamid Karzai vetoed Paddy Ashdown for the post, he may try
the same with de Mistura, even more so after Holbrooke's staged